PH’s first Escoffier grads come home

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The pioneer batch of CCA-ICDE are now ready to pursue a global culinary career. Flanking them are master chef Cyrille Soenen, ISDE CFO Thierry Muller, ICDE chef David Contant, founding president of Disciples Escoffier Philippines Philip Golding, and ICDE marketing director Jeanne Lu

Nine Filipinos have made a mark in history as the first batch of graduates of the French cuisine flagship program of the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE) and the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA Manila).

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Consisting of professionals and students from diverse backgrounds, the pioneer batch was honored via formal commencement rites held at the Cravings Fraser Place in Makati City.

Andrei Arlo Carsi Aniag, Mary Ann Enriquez, Michael Daniele Fortes, Maricon Hii, Mika Nagashima, Jecelle Joi Oliva, Armin Saharkhiz, Leslie Suarez, and Lisam John Tan make up the pioneering batch.

Taking pride in their milestone are their families and friends, together with ICDE and CCA officials led by Cravings Group CEO Marinela Guererro-Trinidad, CFO ICDE-Amis Disciples Escoffier International Asia President Thierry Muller, Disciples Escoffier Philippines Delegation Founding President Philip John Golding, CCA Manila Chancellor Ma. Veritas Luna, Business Development and PR Director Liza Hernandez-Morales, and CCA-ICDE Philippines faculty member Bruno Tirel.

French Masterchef Cyrille Soenen who is also Resorts World Manila’s director of Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage and Professeur de Lycee Professionnel titulaire 2eme Grade Delphine Bonneau also graced the affair.

Prior to receiving their well-deserved certifications, the graduates, using the classical French cookery training they have obtained from their French masterschef-instructors, prepared a dish for final assessment by Bonneau, who is also the French Ministry of Education representative.

The graduates were presented with three diplomas – the Escoffier Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from ICDE, the National Diploma in French Cuisine from the French Ministry of Education – both of which are internationally recognized certifications – and a diploma in French cuisine from CCA Manila.

Muller expressed his elation over the graduates’ commendable work.

“We are very happy and honored to introduce a huge and worldwide organization and a recognized French culinary program in the Philippines. As the newest members of the biggest congregation of chefs in the world, I congratulate our first batch of ICDE graduates in the Philippines. Today, you have made the first step. Don’t forget the teachings of Auguste Escoffier as you go on your journey as professional chefs,” he said.

In her speech, Guererro-Trinidad recalled how the groundbreaking collaboration between CCA, Manila and ICDE made way for the Philippines’ pioneer Escoffier Class of 2017.

“All the decisions took time as we were committed to establish a French culinary arts program that is at the forefront of culinary innovation and at par with international standards. ICDE was certainly the best partner for this program. The CCA family deeply thanks Chef Robert Fontana, Thierry Muller, Ben Grenier and Vincent Leroux for their uncompromising support to this partnership. Our first batch of graduates is proof of our shared efforts in establishing the ICDE Philippines,” she said.

Congratulating the graduates, she remarked, “You mark the 20th anniversary of CCA and the launch of this cutting edge culinary arts program. Now, it is time for you to champion the exact words of ICDE’s founder and CEO Robert Fontana to make Asia the melting pot for new culinary talents, heritage, curiosity and audacity.”

One of the graduates, Andrei Arlo Carsi Aniag, believes his Disciples Escoffier Diploma in Culinary Arts will help open doors for them, especially for him whose family is in the food business.

“As a third generation, I’m planning to expand our business more. I think this is a wonderful program for those who want to create a path in culinary education in the Philippines. Doors are indeed opening around the world, offers have been coming in for internships from Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, specifically Spain and France, and also New York, and I’m so happy for that. After my stint, I plan to come back here to inspire more and elevate the Filipino cuisine in my own little way,” said the new graduate.

The pioneers can look forward to a full range of support services, one of which is being part of the Escoffier alumni network with over 25,000 members in 26 countries.

ICDE is the professional culinary school of Disciples Escoffier International, a non-profit organization that is guided by the standards established by legendary chef Auguste Escoffier who revolutionized the fine dining industry and pioneered commercial kitchen systems worldwide.

Enrollment for the second batch of the Escoffier French Cuisine course is ongoing.

For more information, email to talktoccamanila@gmail.com, or visit www.cca-manila.edu.ph.

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